HC Deb 07 April 1970 vol 799 cc217-8
7. Mr. Molloy

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what was the amount of housing subsidy given in the last year for which figures are available to the London Borough of Brent.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Reginald Freeson)

About £519,000 in 1969–70, Sir.

Mr. Molloy

Can my hon. Friend tell us the figures for 1964 and 1965?

Mr. Freeson

The figure in 1964 was £119,000 and in 1965–66, £225,000. In effect, this is an increase of about £400,000 over the past five years.

Mr. Rossi

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, in the last set of figures published by the Association of Municipal Treasurers, the Exchequer subsidy represented 13 per cent. of the housing revenue, as against 39 per cent. provided by the rate subsidy? Does he not consider that that is too disproportionate?

Mr. Freeson

I would, of course, have to check those figures to see whether or not they are correct. The question of rate subsidy is a matter not for the Exchequer but for the local authorities concerned. The hon. Gentleman has—as he often does when discussing these matters; the same can be said of many of his hon. Friends—omitted one important fact, which is that the biggest proportion of the so-called rate subsidy is, in fact, expenditure on urban renewal, salaries on capital account, land holdings, building purchases and like expenditure ahead of the actual building of estates.